The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is working hard to reduce the Fringe’s impact on the environment.
The Fringe Blueprint states eight firm commitments that we’re pursuing ahead of the Fringe’s 75th anniversary in 2022. Among those commitments are a range of measures to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint and champion initiatives that limit our impact on the environment.
Many of those measures are already underway:
- We’re working to reduce the number of printed programmes we produce – we printed 350,000 in 2019, a reduction of 45,000 from 2017. We’re also placing more of an emphasis on digital solutions so that we can reduce the print run further.
- We inform, influence and encourage artists to reduce their carbon footprint, and provide several free services to help participants reduce their waste at the end of the Fringe, including:
- a ‘swap shop’ service for unwanted props, sets and costumes
- a paper recycling drop-off for unused flyers and promotional materials
- a food bank donation point for any unused foodstuffs.
- We’re working to develop a digital ticketing solution that will work for every single one of the wide variety of venues that take part in the Fringe, from concert halls and conference centres to walking tours and basement spaces; in the meantime, we’ve ensured that our ticket stock is 100% recyclable.
- We’ve produced the Fringe Guide to Sustainability and, in partnership with Creative Carbon Scotland, the Green Arts Portal, both of which give advice and resources to artists and venues that want to work more sustainably. We also encourage Fringe artists to keep the dialogue around sustainability going, partnering with Staging Change and Creative Carbon Scotland to deliver our Fringe Central Events Programme.
- We provide artists with sustainable alternatives to paper flyering such as the Inspiration Machine and our Twitter-based #QuickFlyer Fridays, where artists can pitch their shows digitally.
- We also encourage audiences to think about what they can do to help make the Fringe more sustainable.
Our work as a Society is also underpinned by our commitment to sustainability:
- We've invested in digital technology to reduce the need for international travel – our FringeCast series has been viewed from 51 countries and every continent on earth except Antarctica.
- We use materials, products and services that minimise waste, and constantly seek out ways to improve our processes, procedures and practices to increase our sustainability.
- We monitor and document our environmental activities and openly report our progress to employees and the public.
These broader aims are informed by the Fringe Society’s Environmental Policy (.pdf download).